How I Dine Out-Zero Waste 

I’ve been on this zero waste journey for almost 2 years and while I still have a long way to go, I’m getting closer to my goal. One thing that I need to get better at is finding multiple uses for the things I already have, but that’s a story for another time. Here are a few things that I do when I dine out.

  1. Bring my own silverware and cloth napkin.
  2. If I know that they are serving my drink in a disposable cup, I bring my own and ask them to use that.
  3. I frequent a couple restaurants that I know serve with glassware
  4. If I anticipate leftovers, I bring my own container
  5. If there is a paper placemat and/or wrapped silverware, I put them aside and/ or tell them that I won’t be using them ( I’ve had people ask if I get embarrassed or uneasy about this one, and…nah)
  6. I always ask for no straw
  7. When it’s time to pay, I always ask for no receipt. If I need to, I write my total in my phone, but my bank is pretty good about keeping track.
  8. I normally have hot tea with my meal, so I ask for a cup of hot water and use my loose leaf tea and tea ball.

That’s basically all I do. It may seem like a lot at first, but I normally just wash my dishes and clothes and stick them in my bag or lunch box by the door, so it’s all there and ready to go when I need it.



My War on Stuff

In a time where I feel like I can’t do anything on the massive scale that I would like. I start to reevaluate to a smaller “me sized” scale. I can start making little changes in my life that have all the potential to snowball into big changes. I HAVE WAGED MY OWN WAR ON STUFF! Inspired by the book Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson. I’ve started step number one of “Refuse”. I’ve been a minimalist in progress for about a year and a half now and while I can feel the change in myself and my outlook on the world from not being consumed my STUFF, I also didn’t want less stuff to mean more in the garbage. So recently I’ve made small changes.

  1. Exchanging paper towels for cloth towels
  2. Exchanging tissues for “hankies”
  3. Signing up for online statements for all my bills
  4. Receiving my tax forms and filing my taxes online
  5. Using reusable shopping bags at the store
  6. Signing up for eRecipients at the major stores I shop at
  7. Buying products with little to no packaging
  8. Making requests to companies that don’t offer eRecipients
  9. Compost all my food scraps
  10. Donate a bag or two every couple months with clothes and other miscellaneous items that no longer serve a purpose for me.
  11. Taking my own cup to places that use paper cups

Now with that there still comes a lot of room for growth and improvement. Things that I do that I’m not proud of in this area:

  1. I don’t recycle (my town doesn’t offer recycling and trying to take it all to another town is just not something I’ve put in my arsenal yet)
  2. I ask cashiers to throw away my receipts. For the places that still use paper receipts I figure that as long as I don’t have it, it’s fine. But, I understand that just because I didn’t throw it away personally, doesn’t mean it still didn’t end up in the trash.
  3. Buying harmful chemical cleaners instead of buying or making my own safe plant based cleaners
  4. Waste water (Showering, how I wash dishes, cleaning, etc.)
  5. I had eliminated all plastic kitchenware in my home last year, but then I wanted to try meal prepping…..well meal prepping lasted about 2 weeks and I now have a lot of tupperware

I’m a work in progress, but this is a battle I don’t intend to lose!